I can’t think of a pivotal moment in my life where a mentor didn’t play a critical role.
As a child, my next-door neighbor taught me the finer points of a proper golf grip. As a teenager, my first boss stressed the importance of punctuality as well as how to toss pizza dough high in the air. In college, my advisor guided my passion for journalism into a career. As an adult, a friend transformed my love of music into a lifelong pursuit of hi-fi audio as a hobby.
These days I find myself acting as a mentor more often than mentee, helping young people find their voice with their writing, coaching young baseball players on the fundamentals, or counseling friends building their own audiophile music systems.
January is National Mentoring Month, a time set aside to highlight the importance of these relationships and encourage people to seek out and serve in mentorships. The National Mentoring Resource Center has put together a host of good information about mentoring.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made in-person mentoring challenging, but there are virtual ways for these relationships to continue and even thrive. A recent New York Times article illustrated how important it is for some children to maintain these relationships:
“Mentoring programs have long helped children — often from disadvantaged backgrounds — who need more engaged, supportive adults in their lives. The pandemic has made the demand for them as strong as ever but has also thrown some curveballs at some of the organizations that specialize in them.”
The cycle of learning from teachers and learning by teaching helps us become better individuals and a stronger, more connected society. It’s also a big reason that JazzJune exists.
When my co-founders Eric Matas and Alexander Londo originally conceived of this company, they initially planned to call it “The Leader-Learner Network.” Though it wasn’t terribly pithy or catchy, it summed up how central mentors would be to the company’s mission.
We are eager for you to join us on this journey, whether it’s as a mentor or a mentee. Consider signing up as a leader or learner here.